Thursday, February 21, 2013
AI: Season 12- Vegas Top 40 , 1st Boys Elimination
Ryan recaps what happened last night, but I did that already so I'm not doing it again. He walks past the gauntlet of guys, a couple of whom I have never seen before. Big surprise there. Tonight's format is the same as last night's- all 10 guys sing, and five will go home, though no matter how many times Ryan says the magic words, I'm pretty sure that no one is going to die on camera. As with last night, a crispy Jimmy Iovine will cast the deciding vote should the judges reach an impasse.
Tonight, Ryan's pompadour has reached Reagan proportions, and it looks darker to me. I like his pocket square. Keith changes things up with a gray leather windbreaker. Nicki has pink tinged hair, white pants, a very brightly colored print top and several gold chains. Randy is in an extra long blue wool jacket with a velvet collar. It looks like he has pinned a big letter R to this chest. Mariah is a periwinkle mermaid with heaving bazooms.
I laugh out loud as the guys rise from below-stage on the same platform that the judges rode last night. I guess there's no fun in using the Cirque du Soleil venue if you can't play with the toys.
#1. Paul Jolley lost Paul Jolley's grandpa, and Paul Jolley begs a lot, and in general, always looks anxious in his burgundy shirt and Adam Levine hair. He starts on the Stool of Seriousness, and sings in a competent, generic Boy Band voice on a song that sounds a lot like Wind Beneath My Wings but isn't. Oh, it's a Keith Urban song.
Keith is touched but cautions against overperforming.
Nicki tells Paul Jolley to dial back the wide-eyed shtick.
Randy: yo yo yo yo
Mariah struggles to say that she thought it was okay. Mariah's boobs struggle to stay within her bodice.
#2. Johnny Keyser, 23, still looks like every Frat Boy Bully in every Underdog Movie ever made. He stares out of his exceptionally wide, exceptionally blue eyes, and bares his exceptionally white teeth. His very sculpted hair is positively Clark Kentian. He's wearing a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He starts out wobbly, and even though I don't know the song, I can tell that he's off a bit. But he does get better as he goes along, ending strongly.
Keith is at a loss for words, and that is not necessarily a good thing.
Nicki flirts outrageously but honestly, saying that he's good looking but maybe not so great with the singing.
Randy is underwhelmed.
Mariah also likes the handsome young men.
#3. I'll take a stab at describing the wonder that is JDA (pronounced Jada). His long hair is tied back in a pony tail and dusted with glitter. He's wearing a sparkly bustier underneath a floaty top. He's in flare capris with the legs split from hem to hip. There's a very heavy jeweled pendant strapped around his neck. He's wearing high heels. His blush and eyeliner are expertly applied and his entire face sparkles. Literally. And he needs a shave. He's singing Adele... from the floor... writhing and playing to the camera. He then stands up and slowly stripteases his jacket off, to reveal some sort of complex leather harness apparatus over the sparkly bustier.
I don't have a clue what just happened, but the audience is going crazy.
Keith commends the performance and the originality but thinks it was over-produced (which may be the understatement of the season).
Nicki is enchanted, telling JDA to work it, girl. She commends the performing but mentions that the singing was a little lacking.
Randy also mentions the little matter of no real singing in this here singing competition.
Mariah pretty much quotes everyone else.
I think JDA should have saved it for America's Got Talent, a show that specifically looks for Vegas performeers. JDA is nothing if not Vegas.
#4. Kevin Harris is 28 and from Alabama. He has long braids (dreds?) tied back in a thick pony tail, and nicely trimmed facial hair. He's wearing a dark vest and slacks, and a lighter shirt. He has one black and white check bow tie, tied in the usual place, and another solid black bow tie, untied, hanging around hiss neck. He's singing Everything I Do, I Do it For You, and it's booooooring. Several of his *big notes* don't quite get there.
Keith comments on Kevin's crazy range but otherwise isn't all that impressed.
Nicki is adamant that everything is perfect. Perfect, she says.
Randy trots out the K word.
Mariah dislikes the song choice.
We find out that the multiple bow ties represent Kevin's sons. Huh?
#5. Chris Watson is 25. He's the one who always wears a big head scarf tied at the side of his head, with long hanging tails. Chris has extremely chiseled cheekbones. He's wearing a black sleeveless vest, black pants, and a black head scarf. All three are bedazzled to within an inch of their selvedges. He's singing Dock of the Bay, and man, I didn't remember that he was so bad. I don't think he hit a correct note throughout, though he did prance a lot.
Keith likes his confidence and charisma, but not so much the sound of his voice.
Nicki loves his voice and loves him, and thinks he's very handsome. Nicki is a bit addled tonight.
Randy is with Keith.
Mariah mentions the bad song choice.
#6. Devin (didn't catch his last name), is 18 and a baristo. He's wearing a tan cardigan over a black shirt and black slacks. His hair is styled short and Sleestaky. Devin is another generic boy bander. He's okay but totally uninteresting.
Keith is unimpressed.
Nicki talks about Devin singing in Spanish. Did he sing in Spanish?
Randy loves it, and also mentions the Spanish.
Mariah mentions Spanish some more.
I was so bored, I didn't even notice when Devin switched languages. That's pretty damn bored.
#7. I am certain that we have never seen 18 year old Elijah Lou (Liu?). Clips from Elijah's unseen audition and performances emphasize how much he loves the ladies, and how much they love him. Elijah is annoying. He has spikey hair with a light streak along the top, and the light shins through his ears. He's wearing a brown leather jacket with the sleeves pushed up, with an entirely different (and clashing) shade of brown leather pants. His voice is Bruno Mars Adjacent.
Keith commends the song choice but says that the vocal was shaky.
Nicki loves him. Evidently testosterone affects Nicki's ears.
Randy says Elijah wasn't great tonight and that he gotta have moments, gotta have, gotta have them. Vocally.
Mariah's bosom quivers in agreement.
#8. Odd Charlie Askew is still odd. He's wearing a black ruffled shirt, sheared velvet pants, and a rhinestone belt he lifted form JDA. His hair is longer than before, and he's carrying a golf club for some reason. He's singing Rocket Man, and he starts out great. Really great- slow and heartfelt, and I am really into the performance until he gets to the chorus, at which point one of Charlie's other personalities takes over the singing. The Karaoke King, I think. The disconnect between the two halves of the song is startling and unpleasant.
Keith says that Charlie is the monster child of Freddie Mercury and Woodstock.
Nicki gives him a Standing O and commends Charlie for playing his weirdness smartly. (Note: I'm not so sure about that... the *smartly* or the *playing*).
Randy wonders where the singers are tonight, conveniently forgetting who put this rag-tag bunch up on stage in the first place.
Mariah likes parts of the performance, but not the whole.
I have a feeling that Charlie is exhausting in person.
#9. Blondes come singly this week- tonight's is Jimmy Smith, a social worker in a dialysis clinic. He has Greatest American Hero Hair, and a leather windbreaker over a denim shirt. He's doing okay with his country ballad. Jimmy is probably the best of the the guys tonight so far, though that's not saying a whole lot.
Keith is honored to hear another Keith Urban song.
Nicki is bored (blondes are not her thing, I guess.)
Randy is also bored.
Mariah likes Jimmy personally.
#10. Curtis Finch Jr. is a gospel singer. He prides himself on growing up in the church (he doesn't say which one). I wonder how he reconciles that with the nasty way he treated Charlie during the Hollywood Rounds, offering to drive him to the airport because Curtis was there to win, not make friends or help anyone out. I disliked Curtis Finch Jr. then, and I dislike him now. He's wearing a purple suit, and he's oversinging the Oversungest Song in the American Idol Universe: Superstar. I wonder if any of these kids have ever heard the original- Karen Carpenter just sang, simply and beautifully. They could learn from her. Curtis is Joshua Ledet/Jacob Lusking all over the stage. He has a great voice, but I truly don't want to listen to him. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to. For a long time I think.
Keith bows. Literally. And he feels cleansed of his sins. Well, some of them anyway.
Need I say that Nicki loved him?
Randy also overflows with the love, though he tells Curtis to youthen up a bit.
Mariah is moved to tears.
So- who do I think is in? Hell if I know. Only Curtis and Jimmy seem like sure things.
Ryan again points out the 5 silver Stools of Continuation, and the judges once again rise up from the depths on director chairs. Ryan announces that there is a split decision, and that Iovine will be called on to intercede.
Nicki tells Curtis the obvious news.
Randy sends Jimmy home. Listen show- that's a mistake.
Mariah tells Kevin the bad news.
Keith tells Elijah that he's staying.
Nicki sends JDA home. I think he's a definite performer, and an entertaining one at that, but this is absolutely the wrong venue for him.
Paul Jolley gets the split vote, so Iovine is called down to render a Paul Jolley Verdict. Evidently, the other judges already know what Iovine is going to say because otherwise they'd have to revamp the rest of their choices to accommodate the Iovine decision, which, btw, is to let Paul Jolley continue to stay and play. This is also a mistake.
Randy tells Chris to take his infinite supply of head scarves home.
Mariah tells Charlie that he's sticking around. This also feels like a mistake.
We're now down to Johnny and Devin, which is a much tougher choice than last night's final two. Both young men think they've done well enough but both understand that the other is good enough. Nicki says that the choice was not unanimous, but it was not an even split. Johnny is going home (and I suspect that Nicki was the dissenting vote on that one).
So Curtis, Elijah, Paul Jolley, Charley and Devin move on. I'd trade any of them for Jimmy.